Student Success Story: Jorie Pepper, Paralegal

Jorie Pepper, IBMC College Graduate

Jorie Pepper is an IBMC College graduate with a degree in Paralegal Studies. She’s from Greeley, Colorado and attended the campus there, having graduated in 2015. Since then, she’s worked her way up into a position she loves in her field. Read what Jorie had to say about her time at IBMC College:

What made you decide to attend IBMC?

“The non-judgmental atmosphere, the teachers, the administrative staff. When I first attended IBMC in 2012—getting my Associates in Medical Assisting—I was at a crossroads, trying to decide what to do with my life. I realized that law still interested me a lot more than Medical Assisting.

After deciding Medical Assisting was not for me, and that I wanted to change my career path, I called Darla (IBMC Admission Representative). We set up an appointment for the same day and she already had my class schedule ready when I went to the appointment. She listened patiently and talked me through a lot of tough decisions. Instead of asking a ton of questions, she supported my decision and never once made me second-guess my decision.”

Why did you want to study law?

“I have always been interest in law and I had always considered going to law school; it was a goal of mine written on several goal sheets in middle school and high school. When I decided the medical field was not for me, I went to Aims to get my associates in criminal justice and start the process for law school, but going to Aims was not as personable as IBMC.

The classes were huge and personally knowing the teacher was difficult to obtain. I then decided that having a family one day was more important than being an attorney. And, being an attorney would take up way too much of my time, leaving little time for a family. Next best thing is to work for them, so I decided to become a Paralegal. I had a great experience while obtaining my Medical Assistant degree. I loved he atmosphere and the teachers/staff, so it was really no contest. IBMC did everything Aims would have done, but IBMC was faster, and you have more of a personal experience.”

Are you happy with your decision?

“I am very happy with my decision. I worked very hard to get to where I am at. All of the late nights that included studying and doing homework—all of the sacrifices in both my personal life and professional life that were made ultimately led me to a very good career. I spent a lot of time being frustrated and had a few moments of being overwhelmed. But in the end, I do not regret one thing.”

What did you gain from your time at IBMC?

“IBMC helped me learn how to research, communicate effectively, and stay organized. The list goes on.”

How has your life changed since attending IBMC?

“Since attending IBMC, I accepted a job at a collections law firm in Broomfield. It was not even close to the paralegal job I wanted. I traveled an hour-plus, daily, to and from work. The position consisted of doing the same thing day in and day out. I did that for about two years to gain experience, reminding myself daily the job was not permanent.

Now, I have an amazing career with a great law firm (Coan, Payton & Payne, LLC) with lots of room to grow. IBMC gave me the starter-tools and my first job gave me the experience—both lead to the amazing position I am in now.”

Tell us about your job!

“I am extremely happy with my position. I work directly under one of the partners in the firm. I assist him with foreclosures, forcible entry and demands, real estate transactions, and banking issues: this includes drafting legal documents, recording legal documents, corresponding with clients, process servers, clerks of court, etc., arranging meetings, handling original documents, tacking deadlines, and so much more.

I assist the litigation attorneys’ preparation for trial, which includes preparing disclosure documents and exhibits, drafting documents to be filed with the court, preparing trial notebooks, and corresponding with opposing counsel. I also handle new client intake calls.”

Any advice for a prospective student?

“Work hard and do not give up. You are in charge of your future. Do your homework, study hard, and find that amazing position that you love. Ask for help, but do not rely on it. Show yourself and everyone around you just how strong you are.”

Are there any instructors who made a significant impact on you?

“Bob White. I learned way more from one person that I ever thought possible. I can honestly say I am where I am because of him. His life stories and his “fourscore” speech have gotten me through a lot of situations. He did what he could to prepare us for the real paralegal job. He told us what to expect, what to learn, and what to familiarize with outside of the classroom to be better prepared. I can honestly say I could not have asked for a better teacher and mentor while taking the paralegal courses.”

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